Please Tell Me How to Remember Love - Chapter 3 Part 4
Chapter 3 Part 4
Three days after the shocking confession.
“Aaaahh! It’s impossible! I can’t do it anymore! There’s only so much knowledge that my brain can absorb!”
“Stop acting like an idiot and open your textbooks. Think about your club. You don’t want to let them down just because you get bad grades, do you? Think about the mess that would happen if you aren’t there by their side.”
“…Aaa… I-I’ll do my best… For everyone’s sake…”
“Good. Answer these questions first, then I’ll give you a quiz so you can review everything.”
Haruka, who made a full-blown confession just a few days ago, was literally in tears.
Currently, she was being tutored by Renge in Miyama’s residence. While Renge’s explanation was clear and easy to understand, the content of the lesson itself was too hard for Haruka. When Aoi entered the room with food in her hands, Haruka already turned into a living corpse on the tatami mats.
“I can’t… I can’t take this anymore…”
“Good grief. Fine, let’s take a short break. We’ll start the lesson again after your break is over, okay? This is for Satou-kun’s sake too. He went out of his way to exchange his reward for your study sessions with me, you know?”
“Uu… Why is he so mean to me? I thought the studying thing was just something that we made up for the stalking incident…”
Seeing Haruka lying down on the tatami mats, Renge let out a sigh.
“This isn’t him being mean, he just wants the best for you. He holds you dearly in his heart, you know? Do you know that he actually bowed his head, begging for me to take care of you? Don’t waste his kindness. The least thing you can do is to study properly.”
“Okay, I’m going to grade this, after that I’ll make a new set of questions for you. Aoi, I’ll leave her to you.”
“Mm, got it.”
Renge showed a beautiful smile. She put away all the textbooks and printouts before going to her room. As soon as Renge disappeared from her sight, Haruka, who had been lying down, immediately rose up and pounced on the cakes that Aoi brought in for her.
“Thank you for the food, Aoi! I swear, my head is about to burst! This will at least ease the pain~”
“Don’t mention it… Anyway, Haru-kun, can I have a word with you?”
Aoi sat next to Haruka before erasing her affectionate smile. With a serious look, she asked her a question.
“…So, three days ago… Do you still remember what happened with Satou-kun?”
That question made Haruka’s expression change drastically. Her face turned bright red and she became all flustered in a matter of seconds.
“W-W-What are you talking about, Aoi?! I-I just did that in the heat of the moment! …I-I love him, yes, b-but, y-you know…”
“…Not that, but the other thing. Do you still remember what Satou-kun did to Kageyama-senpai?”
Seeing Haruka like that made Aoi feel a little uncomfortable, but she ignored that feeling and asked another question to her.
“Huh? Ah, the thing when he ate Misato’s bad emotions? Yeah, I remember that. Why do you ask, though? Oh, wait, are you trying to tell me not to spread that around? I guess when you have a super power, you’d want to hide it, huh?”
“Yeah, please keep quiet about it. Satou-kun will appreciate it too.”
“Okay! I mean, I have no intention to spread it around anyway.”
Seeing Haruka cheerfully replying to her made Aoi feel dejected.
Aoi was disappointed over the fact that she wasn’t the only one who remembered about Takayuki’s power. Since she heard that Misato was unable to remember exactly what happened back then, she hoped that it would be the case with Haruka too, but that didn’t seem to be the case. She also felt embarrassed over the fact that she overlooked the possibility that this could ever happen.
Despite that, her expression didn’t change. She proceeded to ask Haruka another question.
“…Haru-kun. Do you really love him?”
The question was a guise to hide her ugly feelings. It was a question that was asked without a single trace of good intention behind it.
“Yes, I love him.”
However, much to Aoi’s dismay, Haruka replied to her question in a straightforward manner.
“I’ve been in love with him for a long time now. I only know his voice and face recently, but I know that I love him. I love him so much that I feel insecure about it sometimes. I mean, is it really possible to love someone this much? I even thought that my mind was playing tricks on me and he didn’t actually exist, he was just a pigment of my imagination to fulfill my twisted wish that yearned for someone to care about me. But that isn’t the case. He exists. He saved me and Misato. He even scolded me out of the kindness of his heart. He accepted my existence, my useless and pathetic existence…”
Aoi felt the urge to cover her ears, but she couldn’t do that. It would be pathetic of her to do so. That was why she decided to hear her out until the end, despite the pain that her words brought to her.
“In any case, I love Kouhai-kun… I love Satou Takayuki…”
“…I thought you hated him for groping your chest.”
While enduring the pain, Aoi muttered her words as a means of resistance. However, that act was futile in front of Haruka.
“Honestly, now I wish that he did more than that…”
Haruka’s answer was accompanied by a teasing smile. Aoi couldn’t say anything to reply to her.
* * *
The next day, after school. Aoi was scheduled to meet up with Takayuki.
There were two topics that they had to discuss; the fact that Haruka managed to remember about Takayuki’s ability and her confession.
At first, Takayuki only wanted to talk about the first topic, but the matter of the confession bugged him so much that Aoi suggested that they should also talk about it too. Normally, Takayuki was strict about this kind of topic since it included someone else’s private matters, but it seemed like he took Aoi and Haruka’s close relationship into consideration and judged that it should be okay to consult her about this.
Knowing that Takayuki was trying to rely on her satisfied Aoi, though she didn’t know why she felt that way. Currently, Aoi was racking her brain, trying to come up with advice that he could use.
Then, came the meeting time, 5 pm.
“What do you mean by that? Are you refusing my invitation? MY INVITATION?”
“I told you earlier, didn’t I? I have a prior appointment with someone, you dumb young lady.”
“Who did you call dumb, you useless high schooler!”
At the park where they were supposed to meet, Takayuki was dealing with a child.
The child was grabbing Takayuki’s uniform. A twin-tailed young girl, aged around 10 to 12, wearing a one piece dress from a famous brand. The girl had a youthful face that befit her age.
But, she and Takayuki weren’t the only people there. If that was the case, the scene that Aoi was seeing would be a heart-warming scene of a little sister asking her big brother to fawn on her. The presence of two huge men wearing black suits made the scene look more ominous than heart-warming.
“Kaiji-san, Mitora-san, please, help me rein in this little runt!”
“Sorry, Satou-san, we can’t help you.”
“Only the members of her family have the right to restrain the young lady’s actions.”
Despite their appearance, the two men could only avert their gazes from the scene that was happening in front of them. Their embarrassed faces looked somewhat pathetic. They could do nothing to stop the ‘young lady.’
“Who are you going to meet? Is it a girl? Is she more important than my invitation?!”
“Well, the meeting is important, yes and she’s a girl. Anyway, I promise I’ll make up to it later, so please?”
Annoyed by Takayuki’s words, the so-called ‘young lady’ puffed her cheeks and kicked Takayuki’s leg. Aoi was watching this scene from behind a vending machine in the park. She had no reason to hide like this, but she wasn’t idiotic enough to intrude on the scene.
“…Your connection is amazing as always, Satou-kun.”
Aoi muttered in a small voice.
She never expected that Takayuki would befriend a big shot like the young lady. She felt a little sadness when she found out. Though, it was natural that she didn’t know, as they weren’t even that close yet.
“No, no no! If it’s a girl, then I won’t let you go!”
Seeing the young lady selfishly clinging to Takayuki made Aoi feel irritated. It reminded her of her younger self.
Since there was no one else that could rein the young lady in, she decided to take action, lest the child’s action anger her even more.
“You stupid little sister! What the hell are you doing?!”
“H-Hii?! O-Onee-chan?!” (T/N: Question, do you prefer that I use ‘Big sister’ or ‘Onee-chan?’ Honestly, I think the latter feels a little weeb-ish, but if you prefer it, then I’ll just use it from now on. ‘Big sister’ sounds unnatural anyway, so I really don’t care which one.)
But, before she could do anything, a girl wearing a high school uniform came running from the entrance of the park and smacked the young lady on her head.
“O-Onee-chan hit me… This is abuse! Domestic violence!”
“Shut up, you idiot! Stop bothering Kaiji-san and Mitora-san! Also, stop troubling Takayuki! Seriously, what are you doing?!”
“B-But, Takayuki said that he’ll take care of me!”
“Only if you were hurt back then! That deal is invalid now! He said that because there was a possibility that you’d be injured and you’re not in that kind of situation anymore! Besides, it was him who was hurt back then! Acting selfish and failing to remember the deal that you made, where’s your dignity as a member of the Takayama Family?!”
The person who was scolding the young lady looked familiar to Aoi. She was Takayama Yui, one of Aoi’s friends from another class. However, her current behavior was different from the one that Aoi used to. Normally, she’d try to be as inconspicuous as possible, but this time she looked as domineering as a lion.
“You two, take her away while she’s still crying! Get her into the car and take her home, quickly!”
The charisma she exuded when she commanded the two men felt overwhelming. She seemed like the kind of person who’d be able to make everyone do her bidding by just talking.
Hearing his name being called, Takayuki straightened his posture immediately.
From the way they acted, it seemed like they regularly did this kind of routine.
“I know that you have a soft spot for my sister, so I won’t tell you anything. You can do whatever you want with her, I don’t care. It’s just there’s something I’m curious about, so answer me honestly. Are you involving yourself in something dumb again?”
“Hm… So, you’re here for someone else, not yourself, I see. And that someone should be… Whatever. Anyway, take care of yourself better. Don’t repeat the stupid things you did back in middle school ever again!”
“Yes… Um, Yui…”
“Don’t call my name casually like that! The walls have ears!”
“Who was it that called me by my name just now?”
“Shut it! I didn’t do it intentionally! Also, when I was running here, I saw someone hiding behind that vending machine…”
Seeing their exchange made Aoi feel a deep sense of loneliness incomparable to anything she ever felt before. Her mind replayed the story that Takayuki had told her previously. The word ‘my dear friend’ that came out from his mouth echoed repeatedly in Aoi’s mind.
She knew nothing about Takayuki. Once again, she had to face that harsh fact. Her chest tightened and she started to have trouble breathing. She didn’t know why it happened, though. All she could do was clutching her chest, while trying to erase her presence.
“Um, are you okay, Miyama-san?”
But her attempt was futile. Takayama was already standing right beside her.
* * *
“Miyama-san, can we talk for a minute? Taka— Satou, you go away until I call you back. Shoo.”
After confirming that Aoi wasn’t sick, Takayama chased Takayuki away from the park.
Aoi thought that the treatment Takayuki received was too harsh, but the boy seemed to be okay with it as he obeyed Takayama’s words with a satisfied look. This fact made her heart ache even more. She tried not to show it in front of Takayama though.
“…Alright. Even that guy wouldn’t be able to hear us from this distance. Sorry for calling you out of the blue like this, Miyama-san.”
“It’s fine. I have a prior appointment with him after this though, so I’d like to keep this conversation brief.”
Right now, Takayama seemed the same as the Takayama that Aoi knew. She didn’t have her previously domineering atmosphere anymore. But, since Aoi didn’t know her true purpose of calling her out, she didn’t let her guard down and used her prior appointment as an excuse to keep Takayama in check.
“Got it. I’ll be blunt with you then. Do you like him, Miyama-san?”
However, the words that came out from Takayama’s mouth were equivalent to a killing blow to Aoi.
“I know I’m speaking out of the line here, but if your love toward him isn’t that deep, I advise you to stay away from him. Don’t even try to ask for a relationship with him, you’ll regret it. But, if you really really like him, then…”
Aoi couldn’t afford to keep her emotions in check anymore. Her attempt on pulling a small trick on Takayama completely backfired on her due to the latter taking their conversation unexpectedly seriously from the beginning.
“Make that big oaf fall in love with you without fail. Who knows his idiocy might be cured if he were to fall in love with someone.”
Takayama said those words in a straight-forward manner before turning around and walking away. Her brisk attitude caught Aoi off guard, but before Takayama left the vicinity, Aoi managed to squeeze a word out of her throat.
That single word stopped Takayama in her tracks. She didn’t turn around, only standing there calmly while waiting for Aoi to continue. Aoi’s brain tried to come up with a good excuse for her to say, but her mouth already moved before she managed to find it.
“Takayama-san… Why did you lie to me about Satou-kun’s reputation back then?”
Out of curiosity, she asked that question. It was something that she had been wondering about for a while now.
With a giggle, Takayama turned around to face Aoi.
“Gee, I wonder why?”
“…To keep me away from him? That guy is the kind of person who’d do everything to help out someone in need, especially if that person is someone that he knows. You’re probably doing that to keep people away from him so that he wouldn’t get hurt unnecessarily.”
Something came up in Aoi’s mind. Back when she tried to find out what kind of person Takayuki was, some of the girls she asked must have worked for Takayama. Though, that begged the question, ‘How many of them worked for her?’
“Hahaha, you’re saying some interesting things, Miyama-san.”
Even when Aoi confronted her like this, Takayama was still able to laugh carefreely.
She was right in front of her, but Aoi failed to find out what she was thinking or what kind of person she really was.
“Takayama-san, tell me the truth… What do you feel about him?”
Aoi knew that it was useless, but she asked that question anyway. She felt the urgency to know about the nature of the girl in front of her.
“I told you before.”
It was unknown if Takayama knew the intention behind Aoi’s question or not. She just answered it straight-forwardly like she did previously.
“I hate him… I genuinely hate him with all my being.”
Takayama’s expression was indescribable.
Between laughing and crying, the two extreme expressions mixed together into something else entirely.